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An introduction to Mendeley, the bibliographic citation program with a social media component.

Adding References

Adding citation data to Mendeley can be done several ways:

- typing citations in manually
- automatic extraction of citation information from added PDFs
- via the Mendeley Web Importer
- discovering and adding material through the interface

Users can also add notes, tags, and related files to each Mendeley item entry.

This page offers resources for adding material to your Mendeley library.

How to Add References Using Mendeley

Mendeley is most heavily focused on adding and organizing journal articles and PDFs, though any type of material can be added to Mendeley - usually manually if not a PDF.

The various methods are briefly described in Mendeley's Add & Organize section.


Basics of Adding References Manually

  • Open the Mendeley program on your computer.
  • Locate the "Add Document" icon (encircled plus sign) in the upper-left corner of the interface.
  • Click the arrow on the icon and select "Add Entry Manually". A pop-up window will appear.
  • At the top, select the type of material you wish to add (e.g. book, book section, document, journal article, etc.).
  • Begin to fill in data manually for the item record that appears by clicking on each metadata field. You can enter basic data (e.g. title, author, publisher), as well as notes, tags, and files from your computer.


Basics of Adding PDFs from your computer Automatically:

  • To add individual PDFs, click on "Add Files" as shown above, then select the file(s) to import. 
  • To add a folder of PDFs, click on "Add Folder", then select a folder.
  • Mendeley can automatically add PDFs when they are saved on your computer. To set Mendeley to watch a folder, click on "Watch Folder". Make sure this folder is where you are saving new PDFs!
  • Drag and drop: individual PDFs or folders can also be dragged from your computer into your Mendeley program.
  • Once a PDF has been added, Mendeley will try to automatically extract the citation information. It will ask you to verify that the information is accurate, or prompt you to search Google Scholar to add any missing details.


Example of verifying information:

Mendeley has automatically imported PDF information, including authors, journal, year, volume and issue.

However, as shown in the yellow boxes, it is missing the title and page numbers.

By clicking on "Search by Title", Mendeley will attempt to find the citation in Google Scholar and fill in in the information. 

These fields can also be added manually by typing them in.



Basics of Adding References Online

  • Install the Mendeley bookmark in your browser.
  • Navigate to a supported page (full list of supported pages) and click on the bookmark.
  • Select the citation(s) you wish to add to Mendeley.  Please note, these will be added to your online Mendeley account, NOT the desktop program.
  • Once saved, you can add notes, tags, or save a webpage snapshot, as shown below.

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